NCPEA - National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse
Elder Care

What Should I Do If Someone I Know Is Being Abused?

Most states have laws that require professionals to report abuse. Concerned citizens are also encouraged to report. These laws shield reporters from liability in the event that the report turns out to be unfounded. To learn more about state reporting laws, click here (by clicking here, you will leave this web site).

To whom should I report?

Each state designates a lead agency or agencies to assume responsibility for investigating abuse reports. Typically one of the following agencies will investigate:

What will happen if I report?

Although procedures vary from state to state, a report to adult protective service programs typically will trigger an investigation to assess the following:

The answers to these questions will direct investigators' response. In most cases, they will offer to help victims access appropriate services. Adult protective services are voluntary. That means that the subject of a report has the right to refuse services (in some states, they can stop an investigation) unless one of the following two conditions apply:

Unless either of these conditions applies, vulnerable persons are free to decide whether or not they want help, and the type of help they want.